May 02, 2024 by - Kukun

From Agent to Home Investment Advisor

A home investment advisor, or HIA, is one of the most critical services a homeowner can have, as the home is typically the largest single investment people have. Since there is no official profession for HIAs, this represents a hole for real estate agents to fill. Real estate agents know much about what drives home values in their local markets, so they are the most logical people to serve in this role.

The Client Loyalty Opportunity

The first big question is, why make the effort? The answer is twofold: to strengthen client loyalty and build your reputation as a high-value-add agent.

Client loyalty, and more specifically, retaining clients over several years between transactions, is the greatest opportunity to grow your business over the long term, as evidenced by the recent NAR survey that revealed 73% of homeowners switch agents for their next transaction. That means if you sell a buyer a new home when they sell that home five years later, they most likely give the listing to someone else! And it’s doubly crucial as most agents get new customers from referrals – and it’s unlikely that you’ll get a referral from someone who isn’t going to select you for their following listing.

The End Game

You know you are seen as a client’s HIA when they look to you for every major home investment, renovation, and repair decision for the length of time they own their home. It starts with your buyer trying to decide which home to buy, what renovations to make after the purchase, and then through their entire homeownership lifecycle until you get the listing two or ten years later.

Knowing the answers

1) Which home will be the better investment? Buyers typically consider several different homes, and the balance between the emotional connection to a house and the financial upside of one house over another is a common discussion. The forecast for the future is mainly subjective; however, there are many indicators of relative upside that can ground the answer in facts. Agents need to have a source for these analytic and factual elements to provide answers. Home buyers are keenly aware when an agent is “guestimating” versus when they have facts and a solid foundation for their recommendation.

2) Determining current home value: As an agent, you naturally get a feel for the relative value of properties in your area, so the big picture question of “What is my home worth?” is a regular part of your job. However, with estimated home values readily available online, agents must deliver high-quality comparative market analyses (CMAs) to stand out.

  1. 3)  Maintenance Guidance: Homeowners often don’t realize that buying a home means taking on a broad range of maintenance and repairs that never end. Knowing what to do, how, and when to do it makes a huge difference in whether a home keeps or loses value. Agents who provide their clients with this information make their lives far easier and clarify the work involved in homeownership.
  2. 4)  Evaluating Renovation Impact: This is a much more complicated question, as projecting the change in value from adding new floors or renovating the bathrooms can be challenging. The value after an addition can be even harder to project. So, agents need good sources of information to help them to help their customers. The correct data will not only have local construction costs but also provide the finish levels that represent the best combination of value and quality. The right source will also have insight into the ROI of the work, being based on solid home valuation models.
  3. 5)  Monitoring Neighborhood Changes: The one thing that is guaranteed in life is change, and this “guarantee” applies to neighborhoods. To help homeowners feel like they are in-the-know on the changes that can impact their home value, agents should be able to provide their clients with updates on new construction, demolitions, and important new commercial building activity in their nearby town center.
  4. 6)  Neighborhood Sales Insights: Sales prices in the neighborhood are well known and watched by all homeowners, but the agent needs to be able to provide a regular update on recent sales, which are good comps for the homeowner. There are many sources for recent sales, yet to provide a regular comp update for the homeowner, the agent needs a source that automates the process.
  5. 7)  Sourcing reliable contractors: Every homeowner needs the services of a wide range of professionals, from plumbers to roofers to A/C repair. This is an opportunity for agents to help homeowners better manage their homes and ensure that the work done is of the kind of high quality required to improve home value. Agents who can provide reliable and professional contractors to their clients make a big difference in the homeowners’ overall investment outcomes.

Imagine how much your current clients will appreciate you when you are able to help them with all these elements every month of the year, year in and year out. You become their personal HIA, and they will not only stay loyal to you for their business but also be confident in recommending you to their friends.

Digital Solutions for Enhanced Client Service

Doing this manually with phone calls and individual emails is impossible; there aren’t enough hours in the day. Agents must turn to digital services to deliver all this value to their complete list of 150 or 300 contacts and clients.

Introducing Kukun, the most comprehensive suite of home investment, home management, and neighborhood awareness applications designed for agents to provide to their customers. The Kukun agent/client relationship portal is the simplest way for agents to always be in touch with their contacts. It offers weekly automated updates that solve the full range of homeowner needs, all branded to the agent and featuring the agent as the go-to source for personalized expertise.

For a personalized demo, go to and select “book demo.


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